|Industry||Biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing.|
|Number of customers||11,000 people in 45 manufacturing plants across the world.|
|Claim to fame||The Swiss company Lonza is over 100 years old. Their Slough site has been here for over 20 years. In the last couple of years, they have invested between £35 million and £40 million in it.|
If you need someone with specialist language skills, you will find them in the UK. The CEO of a leading Chinese company told me it is a reason they moved to London. Whatever language they need, they can find a speaker in London. And the City is just 17 minutes away on the train.
At the end of 2011, we started building stronger relationships with local schools. We now host scientist of the year awards for children at Burnham Grammar School. We even got in the school’s newsletter recently for helping to get them some liquid nitrogen. They wanted to experiment with frozen oranges, throwing them against a wall. We were very happy to help out.
Working with the local community like this helps us improve the perception of scientists and our industry.
Slough is the centre of excellence for biologics process development and small scale manufacturing. Our other biologics plants are in Singapore, Spain and North America. A lot of projects start life in Slough.Gordon Bates - Head of operations at Lonza Biologics
Experts in the field. Being in the south of England has its pros and cons. It is expensive, yes, but there are lots of talented people here. We recruited around 140 people last year. It was easy, and we are pretty specialised. Around half our employees live in the Slough area.
The UK education system is very strong in science. The Government is promoting the subject – and high-value manufacturing. Perfect for us. It has helped us speak to our local member of parliament and national government. They are keen to see Slough prosper. (We even spoke to the Prime Minister recently.)
We have 700 people on site – 500 of those are scientists. Many come from universities like Imperial College, University College London, and universities of Birmingham and Newcastle. They are all well connected to Slough and we have good relationships with them.